Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler struggled once again in the 2019 Rome ePrix and their reign of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship teams championship is very much on the line with six races left.
Lucas di Grassi‘s qualifying saw him in a lowly thirteenth position for the start but was the best of the group he was in. He had managed to avoid the pile-up on the first full lap that brought out the red flag and was lying eleventh at the time.
Since the restart, the season three champion had a relatively quiet race to finish an eventual seventh, which sees him in fifth in the drivers standings, seven points off leader Jerome D’Ambrosio.
The Brazilian though had taken positives from his Italian job.
“Following the extremely difficult qualifying, it was a good race for me,” di Grassi said.
“We have to score points regularly to win the championship, even in the races where we are not fighting for victories. That’s what we did today.”
Team-mate Daniel Abt had a day to forget after a technical issue in qualifying that left the German in seventeenth position.
Things got worse in the race when he had to restart his Audi e-tron FE05 after going off onto a run-off area. That sent the German down to eighteenth and a lap down by the end of the race.
“I feel like I did a good job today but, unfortunately, I had technical issues. That’s why it was a day to forget for me,” Abt added.
The 2012 GP3 Series runner-up is down to tenth place overall on points, twenty-one off the top.
Audi keep up their 100% record in scoring in every race so far this season but have lost ground in the teams standings and are down to fourth. They were only a single point off the lead before Rome, which has been increased to fourteen. Team Principal Allan McNish felt his team had achieved the “maximum” they could have hoped for.
“A tough day for Daniel, but important points for Lucas in the big picture of the championship,” said McNish.
“After briefly stopping, Daniel was out of contention. From his grid position, Lucas got the maximum of what was possible for us today.”